06 December 2010

Oil spill in the Johor Strait?

Bernama just reported that a tanker sank in Pengerang waters off Kota Tinggi while transferring fuel to another vessel.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and Malaysian Department of Environment are looking into whether there has been an oil spill.

Update on 7 Dec from The Star: "the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM), Marine Department and the Department of Environment (DOE) have not detected any oil spill in the area."

Update on 7 Dec from Sin Chew: The Head of the Maritime Enforcement Agency said "We are now working with Johor environmental authorities to monitor the ship as there is a likelihood of an oil spill from the vessel".

Update on 7 Dec from Channel NewsAsia: "Johor environmental authorities are monitoring the ship, as there's a likelihood of an oil spill from the vessel and also for the safety of passing ships."

Foreign Vessel Sinks Off Pengerang
Bernama 6 Dec 10;

JOHOR BAHARU, Dec 6 (Bernama) -- A Singapore-registered tanker sank in Pengerang water off Kota Tinggi while transferring fuel to another vessel early Monday.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) southern region enforcement chief, First Maritime Admiral Zulkifli Abu Bakar, said they were informed of the incident at 7.30am.

"We were told a vessel had sunk 3.6 nautical miles off Tanjung Ayam, Pengerang," he said in a statement.

He said a team of MMEA officers in a speed boat was dispatched to the area and arrived just as the ship was about to sink into the sea.

Zulkifli said the vessel, with five crew members, was believed to be in the process of transferring fuel to another ship when the incident occurred.

The ship was believed to have lost its balance during the process and capsized, he said, adding that all the crew members managed to jump to safety onboard the other ship.

He said the MMEA was in contact with the Department of Environment for the possibility of an oil spill.

MMEA boats were still in the area to monitor the situation, he added.

-- BERNAMA

Tanker overturns while transferring illegal cargo
Desiree Tresa Gasper The Star 7 Dec 10
KOTA TINGGI: An oil tanker is believed to have overturned off Pengerang near here due to instability when its crewmen were transferring the vessel’s oil cargo to another ship.

However, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM), Marine Department and the Department of Environment (DOE) have not detected any oil spill in the area.

There was also no trace of the crewmen, who were believed to have jumped off the tanker into the other ship, which sailed away.

It was learnt the authorities have traced the owner of the tanker, who was expected to do salvage work before the situation worsens.

From the APMM’s initial findings, there were only four men aboard the Singapore-registered tanker when the incident occurred at about 7.30am on Sunday.

“APMM officials who were patrolling the area spotted the partially sunken tanker about an hour after the incident,” First Admiral Zulkifli said in a statement here yesterday.

“The crewmen of both ships did not contact the authorities when the tanker started to sink because they were conducting illegal activities,” Zulkifli said.

Dr Zulkifli urged those who spotted any signs of oil spills to contact the DOE hotline at -800-00-2727.

Ship capsizes transferring fuel off Malaysia
Sin Chew 7 Dec 10;
KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday 7 December 2010 (AFP) - Malaysia's maritime authorities said Tuesday that a Singapore-registered mini tanker had capsized off the country's southern coast while transferring fuel to another vessel.

Zulkifli Abu Bakar, head of the Maritime Enforcement Agency for the southern region of the country, said the agency was alerted to the sinking off the tip of Pengerang in Johor state early Sunday morning.

Fuel is often transferred between ships at sea off Malaysia, in part as heavy government subsidies tend to encourage smuggling of fuel out of the country.

"Our initial investigations showed that the Singapore-registered ship, MT Po Lai, along with five of its crew, were planning to transfer fuel with another vessel, Kam Fong," Zulkifli said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, the Po Lai faced problems stabilising itself, causing it to capsize, but all the ship's crew managed to escape to the Kam Fong and are not injured," he added.

"We are now working with Johor environmental authorities to monitor the ship as there is a likelihood of an oil spill from the vessel and we need to ensure the safety of ships travelling in the area."

Maritime authorities could not be reached for further comment.


Capsized ship off Johor not Singapore-registered: MPA
Channel NewsAsia 7 Dec 10;
SINGAPORE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has clarified that the vessel which capsized in the waters off Pengerang in Johor was not a Singapore-registered ship.

A Malaysian maritime official had said the vessel, MT Po Lai, was Singapore-registered.

The mini-tanker capsized while transferring fuel to another vessel.

The head of Malaysia's Maritime Enforcement Agency southern region, Zulkifli Abu Bakar, said the agency was alerted to the sinking early Monday morning.

He said the ship capsized after having problems stabilising itself.

But the ship's crew managed to escape to another vessel and are not injured.

Mr Zulkifli added that the Johor environmental authorities are monitoring the ship, as there's a likelihood of an oil spill from the vessel and also for the safety of passing ships.

-CNA/ac


Singapore-registered tanker capsizes off Johor coast
Straits Times 8 Dec 10;

PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's maritime authorities said yesterday that a Singapore- registered mini-tanker had capsized off the country's southern coast while transferring fuel to another vessel.

Dr Zulkifli Abu Bakar, head of the Maritime Enforcement Agency for Malaysia's southern region, said the agency was alerted to the sinking off the tip of Pengerang in Johor state early on Sunday morning. Pengerang is located near the town of Kota Tinggi.

Fuel is often transferred between ships on the seas off Malaysian coasts, in part as heavy government subsidies tend to encourage the smuggling of fuel out of the country.

'Our initial investigations showed that the Singapore-registered ship, MT Po Lai, along with five of its crew, was planning to transfer fuel to another vessel, the Kam Fong,' said Dr Zulkifli in a statement.

'Unfortunately, the Po Lai faced problems stabilising itself, causing it to capsize, but all the ship's crew managed to escape to the Kam Fong, and were not injured,' he added.

There was no trace of the crewmen, who are believed to have jumped off the tanker onto the other ship, which then sailed away.

The authorities have traced the owner of the tanker, which is expected to do salvage work before the situation worsens.

'We are now working with the Johor environmental authorities to monitor the ship, as there is a likelihood of an oil spill from the vessel, and we need to ensure the safety of ships travelling in the area,' said Dr Zulkifli.

The maritime authorities could not be reached for further comment.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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